children, gardens, museums, travel guide - Spain

Casita del Principe – a hidden treasure.

Casita del Principe – a hidden treasure.

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A secret spot from the list of Madrid’s 10 most beautiful surrounding places.

There are days when you wake up and feel that it is time to get out of the city for a day.  Luckily there is a fascinating place just one hour from Madrid city center. El Escorial is famous for its historical residence of the King of Spain. It has the grand monastery, a significant palace, library, and museums. Therefore it is in the list of Madrid’s 10 most beautiful surrounding places in any guide. But it is not the reason why I like to come here again and again. My secret spot of El Escorial is the Casita del Principe (the House of the Prince).

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Princes and Princess escape house.

 If you are just like me and interested in cozy homes and gardens you will like this reclusive estate and its story. One of the famous Spanish architects Juan de Villanueva designed Casita del Principe in the 1770s for  Charles, Prince of Asturias and his wife Maria Luisa. Princes and Princess prefered to escape the  formalities of court life and enjoy some solitude. However, they have to pass the night in the palace following the royal etiquette. As a result the house doesn’t have any bedrooms. The  interiors of Casita del Principe are decorated in neoclassical style and deserve a separate post which will share soon.

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The garden – a hidden treasure.

Today I would like to invite you for a walk to the splendid garden which makes Casita del Principe even more of a captivating to visit. When you enter the estate you will be charmed by its giant redwoods and colorful hydrangea in front of the house. Take several steps up and you are in front of two porticoes of Tuscan columns.  They lead you to the second part of the gardens. Passing through columns feels like being Alise in wonderland who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world.

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 Delicate white rose-beds gracefully fitting the walls of the house. And a magnificent view of the monastery is just in front of you.

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You hear a gentle voice of the fountain and see an appetizing quince garden full of ripe fruits.

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Move forward and you can see a labyrinth, a tiny lake, and a veiled greenhouse.

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The garden has numerous terraces.  Every time you take additional steps you discover a new layer. The views of the garden, its aromas, sounds and feeling of solitude makes additional words unnecessary. It is truly a hidden treasure of El Escorial.

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Tips for parents.

The place is a great spot to visit with kids. Playing hide and seek or having a treasure hunt in this magic surroundings always fascinates every little one I know and creates memories to cherish.

Dreams, hopes and a recipe.

There is a little café by the entrance to the estate. As far as I remember it is has been always closed but I can’t stop thinking what delicious cakes with quince from the garden they may serve if there only be someone to run it again. Meanwhile it is a good idea to bring your own snack. For instance, this sable with roses travel well. I came up with the idea of baking them while visiting another beautiful palace in Madrid.

More stories:

SIPPING A TEA AT THE DACHA

A PIECE OF SAINT PETERSBURG IN NORTHERN LONDON OR HOME FOR FUTURE MEMORIES.

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